After reading my post “One Last Funeral”, a reader (and fellow blogger at http://www.everonward.typepad.com) wrote and asked, “How do you keep the unexpected, the too early deaths like this one from depressing you?”
In all honesty, death does not depress me. It saddens me, sometimes very deeply. But death is such a natural part of my life that it is not depressing. If you look back in the early days of my blog this past September you will read how “the lack of death”, the changing trends in my chosen profession and the ever evolving, necessary use of technology put me into a state of depression! I felt like I was losing my purpose in life and I fell into a deep, black hole!
When a death is unexpected or tragic, I feel that my help is needed even more so. Families are in a state of shock and the guidance of the funeral director can make a terrible situation at least bearable. Many people have never dealt with the death of a loved one and have no idea of what to do; they have no idea of what the options are. We, the funeral director, are there to educate while we comfort. We are there to help put the pieces together so that when a family looks back to that time there is a sense of peace and hopefully some good memories.
It is a difficult job. I cry with families and I cry for families. There are times when I have no idea what I am going to say or how I am going to guide. I ask for help and guidance and try to act out of love and most of the time it works.
I remember an incident two years ago when a family was really annoying me. I had a very special weekend planned when a man died on Friday afternoon. The son who was making the arrangements would just not cooperate with my time schedule! I had to work around his milking schedule as he was a dairy farmer. This meant I had to change all my plans and I was not a happy camper. Then he had the audacity to be late for the time he had set! When he walked in my door, I was smiling on the outside but fuming on the inside. But then he said, “ I’ve never done this before. You have to help me.” My anger dissolved, my heart blossomed and I did what I love to do best.
Yes, perhaps it is weird to say but death does not depress me. It gives me the opportunity to fulfill my purpose. For that I am grateful.